Quality Objectives

Introduction

Quality objectives are measurable goals established by companies according to ISO Quality Management System standards. They are used to focus the goals from the Quality Policy into quantifiable plans of action. Companies should first set their quality objectives when planning a Quality Management System and review them periodically with updates as needed.

Since the Quality Policy is created with Customer Requirements in mind, quality objectives also link back to the Customer Requirements. They need to be communicated at each level of the organization with plans at each level to help meet the overall goal of the Quality Policy.

Formulating Quality Objectives
Formulating Quality Objectives

Areas covered by Quality Objectives

Areas that Quality Objectives can seek to address include:

  • Performance
  • Efficiency
  • Timeliness
  • Reliability
  • Accuracy
  • Customer Service
  • Safety

Measurable Quality Objectives

ISO QMS Standards e.g. ISO 9001:2015 and ISO/IEC 15189:2012 have a requirement for quality objectives to be measurable, therefore SMART objectives are the smart thing to do.

Some laboratories however, may have general objectives. In this situation a system must be in place to ensure that the objectives are measurable and that there is monitoring of  progress against the achievement of objectives.

Monitoring Quality Indicators
Monitoring Quality Indicators

Measuring and monitoring Quality Objectives

1. Performance Indicators measure progress at set points towards attaining the set objectives. They will help you determine what to measure, set acceptable targets and monitor progress. Laboratory performance is monitored using Quality Indicators. See how to formulate Quality Indicators from your laboratory Quality Objectives  here.

2. Management should have a formal way of periodically reviewing achievement of Quality Objectives during the Management Review Meeting.

Conclusion

It’s simple really, once the Quality Policy is in place, Quality objectives are the next step and then Quality Indicators will follow. A system of review and update ensures that we remain on track.

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